Loaded propane tanker was imperiled by tsunami
Here's a terrifying story that seems to have escaped telling in the wake of the horrific-enough tsunami in Japan back in March.
The Maritime Professional website tells the harrowing tale of Capt. Mukesh Yadav and the 754-foot long liquified propane tanker Flanders Tenacity. The ship was in port at Kashima on March 11. It was waiting to unload 23,500 tons of liquid propane when the captain, in his cabin, felt the ship shake.
Concerned that someone had started the engines without authorization, he rushed out to discover it was an earthquake. Worse, a tsunami was expected within minutes. The prospect that his ship might be wrecked, and spill its cargo of propane across the port or explode set him to work in a frantic bid to get the ship out of the harbor.
He called for tugs, but the port was being abandoned ahead of the tsunami. And when the waves began to toss the ship about, a collision with a jetty put a gash in the hull. Water poured in and threatened to submerge the compressors that kept the propane cold and under control. Electricity from the shore was knocked out by the earthquake.
It gets worse. Read the rest of the story here.
(PHOTO: Kashima port after quake, Toru Yamanaka, AFP/Getty Images)